GIRLS: Eisenhower 47, South 28
For nearly two and a half quarters, the Salina South girls hung tough against Goddard-Eisenhower, but a rough night on offense coupled with a second-half surge by the visitors proved too much to overcome in the season opener at South High.
Scoring was difficult for both teams in the first half. South’s Acacia Weis stole the ball on Eisenhower’s opening possession and found Mariah Janda for a three-pointer and the early lead. South only managed two baskets over the next 14 minutes of game time. Eisenhower built a seven-point lead before Kalysa Hamel’s trey brought the Cougars within four at 17-13 going into halftime.
Weis’ three made a one-point game, 19-18, with five minutes to go in the third quarter. Following a timeout, it was all Tigers the rest of the way. A 15-2 run to close the quarter gave Ike a 36-20 lead going to the fourth. South never threatened in the fourth as they were frustrated all game by an extended 3-2 zone defense. Unofficially, the Cougars only made four of 18 from beyond the arc and found few opportunities to score in the paint.
Hamel led South (0-1) with six points and Weis had five. Kennedy Nicholson scored 12 of her game-high 14 points in the second half for Eisenhower (1-0).
BOYS: South 56, Eisenhower 42
The Cougar boys return a solid nucleus of talent and experience, and that combo served them well on Friday as they sped up Goddard-Eisenhower, forcing the Tigers into 22 turnovers in what turned into a 14-point season opening victory.
After Eisenhower forward Nick Hogan hit a three on the opening possession, South took command with a 6-0 run which turned into an extended 19-5 burst to build an 11-point lead after the first eight minutes. The Cougars got it done with defense as they pressured ball-handlers all over the court, never allowing the Tigers to get comfortable on offense. Colin Schreiber was the main beneficiary of South turning defense into open floor scoring opportunities as he tallied eight first quarter points.
The defensive effort was consistent, even when head coach Jason Hooper went to the bench. Reserve Kade Barber provided a spark on both ends, recording a pair of steals and tallying five points in the first half. South took a 34-20 lead into the halftime break.
The Cougars came out flat initially in the third, allowing the Tigers to close within nine at 34-25. Coach Hooper called timeout and his group responded with eight straight points to stretch the advantage to 17.
Eisenhower battled and tried to come back, but South’s defense continued to hound the Tigers into giveaways and the Cougars were able to keep the visitors at arm’s length for the remainder of the contest.
Schreiber led South (1-0) with a game-high 14 points and Devon Junghans added 10. Cody Hauser and David Brogan each had 10 for Eisenhower (0-1).
The Cougar teams stay at home for their next set of games on Tuesday, December 8 when Derby comes to town. Eisenhower comes back to Salina on Tuesday to take on Central.